Ginger Gold is one of the earliest commercial apple varieties to ripen, bearing in August on the east coast (mid-July in North Carolina) and July in California, ginger gold apples are large, conical and start out a very pale green, though if left on the tree will ripen to a soft yellow with a slightly waxy appearance.
How Ginger Gold Apples Differ from Golden Delicious Apples?
Ginger Gold was discovered as a chance seedling growing near a Golden Delicious orchard in Virginia in the 1960s. The color, shape, and distinctive long stalk all identify it as a relation of Golden Delicious, yet it has a much earlier season – ripening in mid/late August. Unusually for an early apple, but again reflecting a Golden Delicious parentage, it is a good keeper and will last several weeks in the fridge. The flavor is fairly mild, and a bit sharper than Golden Delicious but still sweet for an early variety. It is equally good for eating fresh or processing. Ginger Gold is generally considered one of the best early-season apples.
Ginger Gold apples have pale yellow skin with slight russeting on the surface. They are variable in size, but tend toward conical in shape, sometimes with ribs and long stalks. They have a crisp, cream-colored flesh with a sweet, mildly tart taste. The sweet apple also has a sharp flavor that provides a slight spiciness. The flesh has a fine texture and does not brown right away when cut, making for a nicer appearance in fruit salads and as a fresh-cut snack. Seasons/Availability Ginger Gold apples are available from late summer through late fall. Current Facts Ginger Gold apples are one of the first Malus domestic varieties available in the fall. The Virginia apple is a cross between Golden Delicious and Albemarle Pippin (Newtown Pippin) apples. Ginger Gold has been described as one of the best-tasting early-season apples. Nutritional Value Apples have many important nutrients, including dietary fiber, which contributes to digestive and circulatory health. Other essential nutrients include Vitamin C, potassium, and phytochemicals, which provide antioxidant benefits. Apples are low in calories, sodium, fat, and cholesterol. Applications Ginger Gold apples keep their shape when cooked, so they are great for tarts or pie apples. Make early-season applesauce with a sweet and somewhat spicy flavor. These pale apples are a great fresh out-of-hand snack, and can also be a good variety for drying. Add Ginger Gold apples to a Waldorf salad for some added crunch. The sweet Ginger Gold pairs well with classic white cheddar cheese and is excellent in recipes that call for cinnamon and brown sugar. The apple keeps well refrigerated for up to three months. Ethnic/Cultural Info In recent history, many apples have been developed by scientists breeding for specific qualities such as hardiness or sweetness. Ginger Gold, though relatively recent, represents an older method of introducing new apple varieties by chance discovery. For hundreds of years, farmers like the one who discovered Ginger Gold have found promising new seedlings in their orchards, decided they had excellent fruit and brought it to market.
Challenges of Ginger Gold Apples Mass Production
Geography/History Discovered growing near a Golden Delicious tree, the Ginger Gold was a chance seedling that began growing in Ginger Harvey’s orchard in Nelson County, Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Named after the grower and its parent apple, Ginger Gold apples were introduced in the 1960s. Now, where to buy in smaller orchards across the United States, particularly in the mid-Atlantic and New England regions.